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Author Topic:   2012 Olympics
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posted July 06, 2005 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
London Upsets Paris to Win 2012 Olympics By STEPHEN WILSON, AP Sports Writer

Britain vs. France. Blair vs. Chirac. Two historic rival cities convinced they were long overdue. London prevailed upsetting Paris to secure the 2012 Olympics.

The British capital overcame its cross-Channel opponent 54-50 Wednesday on the fourth ballot of the International Olympic Committee vote, capping the most glamorous and hotly contested bid race in Olympic history.

Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated in the first three rounds.

London got the Olympics for the first time since 1948, while Paris was frustrated for a third time in 20 years. It hasn't held the games since 1924.

Paris had been the front-runner throughout the campaign, but London picked up momentum in the late stages with strong support from Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"Many people do reckon that London is the greatest city in the whole world at the moment," an exultant Blair said after hearing the result in Gleneagles, Scotland, where he is hosting the G-8 summit.

Blair, who spent two days lobbying in Singapore this week, said he "couldn't bear to watch" the vote on TV and only heard the result when he received a call from the switchboard at his Downing Street office in London.

"This is a momentous day for London," he said.

London's victory handed Paris a third stinging Olympic defeat in 20 years, following failed bids for the 1992 and 2008 Olympics. Paris hasn't hosted the games since 1924.

"I'll put all my energy into our recovery, so that we know how to make something big and positive out of this ordeal," Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said.

IOC president Jacques Rogge opened a sealed envelope and declared the result in a live televised ceremony: "The International Olympic Committee has the honor of announcing that the Games of the 30th Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of London."

The tan-suited London delegates in the convention hall leaped out of their seats, arms raised in jubilation and cheering wildly.

In London, crowds cheered and waved flags as they watched the announcement from Singapore on a giant screen in Trafalgar Square, and in the east London area where the main Olympic complex will be based.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic, we have the opportunity to do what we always dreamed about, getting more young people into sport," London bid leader Sebastian Coe said. "This is our moment. It's massive. It's huge. This is the biggest prize in sport."

Even England soccer captain David Beckham got into the act.

"In 2012, I can take my children to an Olympics which we might never had had the chance to do," he said. "This is such a huge lift for our country."

Rogge expressed delight with London's victory.

"We are very, very pleased with the victory of London," he said. "People we trust, people we know will give us a superb games."

Rogge, a former Olympic sailor, recalled meeting Coe for the first time in the athletes' village in Moscow in 1980. That's where Coe won his first gold medal.

"We couldn't have dreamed at the time that we would, 25 years later, be signing the host city contract," Rogge said.

Paris had the perceived advantage of bidding for a third time, especially since the IOC tends to reward persistence. The French capital also had a ready-to-go Olympic stadium in the Stade de France and embraced the IOC's blueprint for controlling the size and cost of the games.

But not even a personal appearance in Singapore by French President Jacques Chirac could secure victory.

The eliminations in the first three rounds came as no surprise. Moscow was always considered the longshot, with New York and Madrid outsiders. Moscow went out with 15 votes in the first round, New York dropped out next with 16, then Madrid with 31.

Despite being a favorite, Paris never led throughout the voting. The first round was tight, with London getting 22 votes, Paris 21, Madrid 20 and New York 19. Madrid took the lead in the second round with 32 votes, followed by London with 27 and Paris 25. London then picked up a big chunk of New York's votes to lead Paris 39-33 in the third round. With Madrid's votes split fairly evenly in the last round, London had enough to win.

"I'm sorry New York didn't get it, but I'm thrilled for London," President Bush said as he arrived at the G-8 summit.

Part of London's pitch was that it stepped in to help the Olympic movement by staging the games while Europe was still recovering from World War II.

But members said London also won favor because its bid offered a long-term legacy, and they cited Coe's charisma and passion and the appeal of his team's final presentation to the IOC.

"Two different strategies the French and the British," Dutch member Anton Geesink said. "The British, they explained their love of the sport. It is a love affair for Sebastian Coe, that was the difference. Love you can explain, but you can't sell it."

Senior Australian IOC member Kevan Gosper said London won because of the way it sold its message in the final hours.

"They delivered on the day," he said. "The presentation just had that little extra feel."

London centered its bid on the massive urban renewal of a dilapidated area of East London. It was the fourth bid from Britain after failed attempts by Birmingham for the 1992 Olympics and Manchester for 1996 and 2000.

London got off to a slow start but made big strides under Coe, who replaced American businesswoman Barbara Cassani as head of the bid in May 2004. Coe has said he will stay on to head the organizing committee for 2012.

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posted July 06, 2005 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for EthanRubidoux   Click Here to Email EthanRubidoux     Edit/Delete Message
Paris Olympics failure is a blow for Chirac

By Timothy Heritage

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris's defeat by London in the race to host the 2012 Olympic Games was a bitter blow for French President Jacques Chirac that was all the more painful because he lost out again to his rival Tony Blair.

Chirac badly needed a victory to lift his political fortunes after a French "No" vote on the European constitution that left him sorely wounded and a furore over comments attributed to him criticising British food.

The prime minister not only emerged as the winner in what was billed as another showdown with Chirac following a row at a European Union summit last month, but he did so with the flair normally attributed to the French.

"Tony Blair acted brilliantly. He has a dynamism which makes him win all his bets, win all the gambles he takes and win all the challenges he sets himself," said Pierre Durand, an Olympic gold medallist in equestrianism for France in 1988.

"They have the luck to have a prime minister who is young, emblematic, charismatic, deliberately looking to the future and at odds with 'Old Europe'. You can feel it on every level."

How galling such comments must be to Chirac, who failed in his own gamble of going to Singapore at the last minute to lobby members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

How unfortunate for Chirac that his flight from Singapore took him only as far as Scotland where the 52-year-old Blair will be his host at an eight-nation summit -- and the cooking will be British.

Newspaper Liberation said Chirac cracked jokes to Russian and German leaders about bad British food on Sunday. "You can't trust people who cook as badly as that," it cited him as saying.


"I am of course, like all French people, disappointed by this decision," Chirac told reporters on arrival in Scotland, where he said he would have the chance to pass on "warm and personal congratulations" to Blair and Queen Elizabeth.

Chirac, 72, had hoped that securing the Olympics would have lifted the sagging confidence of French voters and given a boost to the sluggish economy by creating jobs and generating revenues for tourism, construction and the service sector in general.

Critics speak of a "fin de regne" (end of reign) after Chirac's 10 years as president. His hopes of winning or even running in the next presidential election in 2007 are now slim.

Chirac's popularity has dropped since French voters rejected the EU's constitution on May 29 -- partly out of discontent with his policies -- and he suffered a new blow late last month when a row with Blair meant the EU did not agree a long-term budget.

Chirac labelled Blair's stance "pathetic" at the EU summit after Blair said he would make concessions on Britain's budget rebate from the EU only if the bloc agreed to a wider review of spending, including the hefty subsidies French farmers receive.

The two men also took opposing positions over the U.S.-led Iraq war, in which Blair was U.S. President George W. Bush's staunchest ally while Chirac led resistance to the invasion.

Chirac has little to encourage him on the economic front because growth is slow and the unemployment rate is at a five-year high of 10.2 percent. Opinion polls show many French centre-right voters would also prefer Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to be the conservatives' presidential candidate in 2007.

"What is certain is that there is a feeling of a France that doubts itself, and this vote will accentuate it," said political analyst Pascal Boniface.

"Bizarrely, one would not ask questions about a British decline if Paris had won and London were second."

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posted July 06, 2005 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Dejected Olympics Also-Rans Absorb Defeat By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer

Madrid residents and Muscovites erupted with hoots, whistles, insults and boos. Parisians folded up French flags and emptied ice buckets of victory champagne. New Yorkers stared silently down at subway platforms.

Deflated, dismayed and downright depressed, people in the four cities who lost out to London on Wednesday in the battle to host the 2012 Summer Olympics found themselves coping with the agony of defeat.

In Moscow, the first of the four also-rans to be eliminated, some people hooted in dismay, but most stood in clear disappointment as news of the loss came.

"We have an Olympic tradition here; we should have won," said Elena Ankudinova, a masseuse in the Russian capital, which hosted the 1980 Summer Games.

But Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said the city would try again.

"We are not disappointed," he said. "We will bid for the right to become the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games."

In Madrid, hundreds of people waving Madrid 2012 and Spanish flags had packed the 18th century Plaza Mayor to follow the IOC voting. The city's elimination was greeted with a collective silence quickly followed by boos, whistles and insults.

"It's terrible," said an angry Maria Luz Beltran, a 50-year-old unemployed woman. "This was already thought out and voted on beforehand. I am angry. Madrid had a chance of winning, but it's all politics."

In Paris, which was heavily favored to win the games, raindrops began falling just before the International Olympic Committee's announcement in Singapore. It was a bad omen for the several thousand spectators who had gathered at City Hall for what they expected would be a victory celebration.

"We can be proud of ourselves, proud of our engagement," said French Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour, a two-time Olympics fencing gold medalist. "Now we have to bounce back, do more work, continue to develop our strategy in spite of this big disappointment."

But few Parisians were in a bounce-back mood.

Many across France, which hasn't hosted a Summer Olympics since 1924, had hoped winning the games would help lift the country stung by high unemployment and a lackluster economy.

Losing to London was even worse. The French and the British have a long rivalry, and some accused the IOC of an Anglo-Saxon bias. As a top City Hall official extended congratulations to Londoners, the crowd responded with a chorus of boos.

"It's been three times now that Paris has been refused 1992, 2008 and 2012. I find that bizarre," said NBA star Tony Parker, a Frenchman who plays for the San Antonio Spurs. "We did everything we had to do. I don't know what more we could have done.

"It proves that the committee is Anglo-Saxon. They prefer the English," he said.

City Hall employees folded up crisp white tablecloths that had been laid with bottles of champagne.

"In the place of champagne, tears are flowing," said Alain Sanchez, a maitre d'hotel. "Our hearts are aching a bit."

French President Jacques Chirac, who had traveled to Singapore for the city's final presentation, learned of the defeat aboard the plane carrying him to the G-8 summit in Scotland. Chirac congratulated London and wished "good luck and full success to the authorities and British people," his office said.

The mood was subdued on a gray morning in New York, which had hoped winning the games would give it something bright to focus on after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"Everybody seems disappointed," said Nick Patrickas, a painter from Long Island who came to Manhattan early Wednesday hopeful of a New York victory.

A planned Rockefeller Center victory party instead turned into an outdoor wake. A giant Jumbotron, used earlier to beam in a feed of the vote, carried a message of defeat: "Thank you New Yorkers for your support."

Patrick Keane, 57, of Queens, felt the city offered things that its competitors did not.

"It's a very international city, so every country could feel welcome and supported," he said. "It could have been a focus for development of certain parts of the city ... and there's just the whole ripple effect of having the Olympics."

In Paris, a carnival atmosphere earlier in the day deflated in the space of a few seconds. Mayor Bertrand Delanoe called the defeat an "ordeal" that the city needed to recover from.

"I'll put all my energy into our recovery, so that we know how to make something big and positive out of this ordeal, because we have to recognize it as an ordeal," he said from Singapore on France-2 television.

Jean-Marie Leblanc, the chief organizer of the Tour de France, urged his countrymen "to sportingly accept this result and wish good luck to the chosen city of London."

Paris bid leader Philippe Baudillon drew comfort from one thought: His team, he said, couldn't have tried harder to win the games.

"We gave all we could," he said. "The Olympic movement doesn't want to come to Paris. It wants to go to London. We can only respect this choice."

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posted July 06, 2005 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Tonight's Nightline is covering many topics...

From the G-8 to the Great White Way
July 6, 2005

So London won the Games for 2012, but are the Olympics really worth it? Some advice from previous city hosts. And a summer box office boon. But it's not Hollywood. The Great White Way turns gold. And we'll keep you updated on a series of developing stories.

Tonight on "Nightline," we'll bring you a multi-topic program. George Stephanopoulos anchors and there's a lot going on today, so some of the show is still in the air as I'm writing. A judge just decided on the cases of two reporters who have refused to reveal their sources in the Valerie Plame case. New York Times' Judith Miller is on her way to jail for contempt of court. Matt Cooper of Time Magazine was given permission this morning from his source to reveal his identity in testimony, so Cooper is not going to jail.

And as the G-8 summit begins with some violent protests, we have a dramatic look at children who are forced to walk through the night to find refuge from a raging war in Uganda.

London got the surprise nod for the 2012 Olympics -- pushing aside its cross-channel rival, Paris -- so we'll take a look at the high cost of victory. The five major competitors this year all spent millions of dollars trying to market their cities over the last 10 years, but now the winner inherits the right to spend billions more to get ready. Is it all worth it? Contributor Sue Ellicott takes a look from the winning city with some words of caution from some recent Olympic hosts. "Be careful what you wish for."

And the big summer box office boom. No, it's not Hollywood. It's the Great White Way: Broadway. Why are people flocking to the theater these days? Well, for one thing, some talented Hollywood stars are performing on stage and they've become a big draw. "Nightline" correspondent John Donvan sits down with John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum and Christina Applegate for a chat about this unlikely entertainment success story and what it's like for the actors to be up on that stage, live, with no chance for a second take.

We hope you'll join us.

Gerry Holmes and the "Nightline" Staff
Senior Producer
ABC News Washington Bureau

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posted July 07, 2005 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for a   Click Here to Email a     Edit/Delete Message
London Olympic Jubilation Turns to Horror By ROBERT MILLWARD, AP Sports Writer
Thu Jul 7, 8:20 AM ET

The day after London celebrated winning the 2012 Olympics, the city was rocked on Thursday by a series of explosions that killed at least two people and injured scores more.

The jubilant scenes in Trafalgar Square, where thousands of revelers danced and sang at the news of the International Olympic Committee's vote, contrasted with the looks of horror on the faces of the casualties and witnesses after at least six explosions ripped through underground stations and buses during the morning rush hour.

While early details from police and ambulance services said there had been two fatalities and 90 injuries at an underground station, the casualty numbers were almost certain to rise considerably.

One day earlier, London was celebrating staging its first Olympics since 1948, having held off the challenges of Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow at an IOC vote in Singapore. Led by two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe, London beat long-time favorite Paris.

When Londoners woke on Thursday to start the seven years of planning and construction, they were instead hit by the news of explosions in central London. The euphoric mood changed completely as people came to terms with the horror of the blasts and London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who was in Singapore for the IOC vote, was hurrying home.

The explosions occurred while leaders of the G-8 summit involving President Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and six other leaders was about to begin in Scotland. Blair said he would leave the G-8 summit at Gleneagles on Thursday to return to London.

Sports events scheduled in London for Thursday were called off.

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posted July 07, 2005 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
If the bombings would have happened a day earlier, London wouldn't have gotten the Olympics.

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posted July 08, 2005 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
IOC drops baseball, softball from 2012 program


SINGAPORE (AP) -- Baseball and softball were dropped Friday from the Olympic program for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

Each of the 28 existing sports was put to a secret vote by the International Olympic Committee, and baseball and softball failed to receive a majority required to stay on the program. The other 26 sports were retained.

The IOC will consider replacing them with two sports from a waiting list of five: golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports. That decision will be made Saturday.

Baseball and softball are the first sports cut from the Olympics since water polo in 1936.

Baseball has been vulnerable because it doesn't bring top Major League players to the Olympics. Softball has been in danger because of a perceived lack of global appeal and participation.

``Needless to say, these sports are very, very disappointed,'' IOC president Jacques Rogge said after announcing the result. ``However, I have to emphasize the fact that they should not fear this purge. The fact is that they shall not be included in the program of the 2012 Olympic Games, but it does not disqualify them forever as Olympic sports.''

Rogge said baseball and softball will be eligible to win back their place in future games.

``I would like to invite the leaders of these sports that will not be included in the program to make their very best efforts during the coming years so as to be able to convince the session that they deserve to come back to the Olympic Games in 2016. We shall support them in their efforts,'' he said.

The IOC will keep the voting figures secret. Not even the IOC members or sports federations will learn the totals. The secrecy was requested by the international federations in order to avoid any ranking or embarrassment for any sports which just barely make the cut.

Rogge said the figures will be seen only by an independent official, who will send the results by sealed envelope to an IOC notary in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rogge will only open the envelope in the case of a voting dispute.

``Not all sports are indispensable for the Olympic program, we know that,'' Rogge told the delegates before the vote.

Rogge urged the 100-plus members to vote strictly on the technical merits of the sports and not for subjective, political or personal reasons.

``If you consider a modification, you should be convinced it will bring an improvement,'' Rogge said.

Senior IOC member Dick Pound of Canada harshly criticized the secrecy, saying it undermined the IOC's moves for openness. He said it was in the interests of the sports federations themselves to know how they stand.

``What kind of message does the IOC send when there is complete secrecy on an issue that is important to the world?'' Pound said. ``I strongly urge that we reconsider the idea of sending a sealed envelope by messenger to a notary to Switzerland who keeps it in a safe somewhere. It's off message in the year 2005. We should be proud that we're able to decide and we should know exactly what the outcomes should be.''

But Rogge said the IOC executive board had accepted the request by the federations, who fear a low vote total would hurt them in finding sponsorship and television contracts.

``Whether we agree or not, if this is the unanimous position of the 28 international federations, we have to respect that,'' Rogge said.

Removal from the program would be devastating for smaller sports, which rely heavily on Olympic revenues for survival.

In 2002, Rogge proposed that baseball, softball and modern pentathlon be removed and golf and rugby be added, but IOC members resisted and no vote was taken. Since then, he has instituted a review of the entire program after each edition of the games.

``The program isn't something that can be fixed for eternity -- it has to be evolving,'' Rogge said. ``We need to be relevant.''

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posted September 29, 2005 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
NBC Begins Preparations For 2012 London Olympics

Seven years before the opening of the London Summer Olympics, NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol was scheduled to have his first meeting today (Thursday) with Sebastian Coe, president of the Olympic organizing committee. The London Daily Telegraph reported that Coe will outline plans for the staging, marketing, and advertising of the Games.

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